The 2020 draft is shaping up to have some incredible talents available, and Craig Button of TSN shared some of his thoughts on the most impressive young players today. In fact, Button believes that there are six different players who could all challenge for first overall, a spot that has had Alexis Lafreniere penciled in for years. Button lists Hendrix Lapierre, Quinton Byfield, Cole Perfetti, Lucas Raymond and Yaroslav Askarov as the other top prospects and reveals some of his scouting takes on each one.
Not surprisingly, that group were some of the standouts at the recent Hlinka-Gretzky tournament that ended in a gold medal for Team Russia. Askaraov, the young Russian goaltender who has been dubbed the next great net prospect, stood on his head in the gold medal game leading Russia to a 3-2 victory despite being outshot 37-13. With so much talent at the top of the draft you can bet bubble teams will be hesitant to give up first round picks that could give them a chance at the draft lottery next year.
- Justin Williams still hasn’t decided whether he is coming back for another season, GM Don Waddell explained to reporters today including Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer. Williams came second to Joe Thornton in our recent poll about veteran free agents and would be a big addition if he decides to return for the Carolina Hurricanes this season. The 37-year old scored 23 goals and 53 points last season and was his usual excellent self in the postseason.
- With several NCAA players about to become unrestricted free agents, Tarik El-Bashir of The Athletic gives us updates on the two that currently belong to the Washington Capitals. Chase Priskie was never expected to sign, but Steven Spinner will also not get a contract and will become a UFA at the end of the week. Spinner played four seasons at the University of Nebraska-Omaha but saw his offense completely dry up in 2018-19 when he scored just four points in 29 games. He still received a tryout with the Hershey Bears at the end of the year, but won’t be getting an NHL contract.